IPG Mediabrands UK flagship London office on course for Q4 opening

The move follows a tenure of 20 years in Farringdon.

IPG Mediabrands: joins McCann and MullenLowe in and near the City of London
IPG Mediabrands: joins McCann and MullenLowe in and near the City of London

IPG Mediabrands’ new UK headquarters which will house all its London-based businesses is nearing completion.

Teams from Initiative, UM, Reprise Network, Orion, Magna, Rapport and Kinesso will make the move to the new premises – situated opposite the Old Bailey in the City of London by the end of the year.

The building, which dates back to 1912 and features a Grade II-listed facade, will include pitching spaces, wellness areas and a multi-faith prayer room for employees.

The move will bring Mediabrands closer to its creative counterparts in Interpublic Groups. MullenLowe Group is situated nearby in Old Street, while McCann Worldgroup moved into its own new office next to Liverpool Street station last October.

An internal survey completed in March found that more than 90% of Mediabrands' employees want the flexibility to work at the office as well as home, with the most popular model being to spend two to three days a week in the premises, with 75% choosing that option.

The new offices – to be known as The Bailey – were designed to allow for a 55% fixed working space to headcount ratio (meaning 55 desks for every 100 members of staff), with other spaces especially designed for collaboration areas, quiet zones, pitching and creative brainstorming.

It is fitted out with Teams-enabled AV, ceiling cameras and microphones to support collaboration and ensure those working remotely can dial in to team meetings and Town Hall-style meetings alike.

Richard Morris, Mediabrands’ UK and Ireland chief executive, said: “The Bailey is a landmark building and this is a statement of intent in itself for a fast-growing business. However, beyond the listed façade, we’ve been able to totally reimagine what an office should look like in the 21st century.

“All eight floors have been gutted to make the building sustainable and future-fit, and we are bringing people together, whether they are on-location or working remotely. Designed to encourage collaboration, it stands as a manifestation of the ‘open culture’ ethos – built around transparency and inclusion – that Mediabrands prides itself upon.”

Green features include natural planting to improve air quality and 124 cycle spaces to encourage employees to use a bike for their daily commute and a rooftop terrace will allow teams to socialise with views of the city.

Quiet areas, including a library, will provide more tranquil environments, as will “no screen” wellness zones.

Morris added: “Work/life balance is key and we want to support our teams however they prefer to work. I know there may be some eyebrows raised at our scaling up when so many more businesses are doing the opposite.

“Our thinking is what more do you potentially lose if you do encourage staff to work from home all the time? Factors such as culture, mental health, on-the-job training and learning by osmosis can be just as important as flexibility.

“Our intention is this will be more than just an office. It will be a ‘destination’ and the aspiration is that staff will want to spend time at The Bailey. It will function as a community unto itself and will be open to both staff and clients.”